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It all started in November 99 years ago....

Ilan Pappe ( Director of European Center of Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter), writing on AlJazeera, starts out analysing the Balfour Declaration, 99 years ago this month, and the course of history since.... resulting in what continues to be the dispossessed Palestinian people.

"November is a painful month in the Palestinian calendar. It is dotted with commemorative days that have one theme in common: the partitioning of Palestine.

Today is the 99th anniversary of the Balfour declaration. Although it did not offer partition, it sowed the seeds for it, which eventually allowed the Zionist movement to take over Palestine.

On November 15, we commemorate the Palestinian Declaration of Independence (issued by the Palestinian National Council (PNC)), which was a reluctant national Palestinian consent to partition, notwithstanding the injustice and criminality involved in such an act.

At the end of the month, on the 29th, we commemorate the UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which recommended in 1947 the partition of Palestine into two states.

Put into the right chronological sequence, we can see a direct line between the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1947 UN partition resolution and the 1988 PNC's document. It is worth our while to re-read Edward Said's wise words about the Balfour Declaration.

"What is important about the Declaration is, first, that it has long formed the juridical basis of Zionist claims to Palestine, and second, more crucial for our purposes here, that it was a statement whose positional force can only be appreciated when the demographic, or human realities of Palestine are clearly understood. For the Declaration was made (a) by a European power (b) about a non-European territory (c) in a flat disregard of both the presences and the wishes of the native majority resident in that territory, and (d) it took the form of a promise about this same territory to another foreign group, that this foreign group might, quite literally, make this territory a national home for the Jewish people."

In fact, it was more than that: It allowed a settler colonial movement, appearing very late in history, to envisage a triumphant project even before it set proper foot in the land or had a meaningful geographical and demographic presence there."

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